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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
05 Elise "Xede -> Gotham: A review" -or- "I never knew it could be this good" [long]

NOTE: To end confusion, this is not about the "Gotham" Tune for the Exige S. It is, in fact, the "Supercharger Tune" for 2005 Federal cars.

I'm running a Greddy supercharger in my '05 Elise & have been since I purchased the car in June of last year. When I got the car, it had an Xede piggyback ECU with the no-learn mod in the factory ECU. Other related mods: 10lb pulley, aquamist, Fujita intake, Quicksilver muffler. Stock cat still in place.

For the short attention span:

My Xede:
Pro:
- Tuneable
- Erred on the safe (rich) side
- Was available before Chailie's tune
Con:
- WAAAY too rich & the requirement of the no-learn mod combined with the non-adaptive maps meant that it got even MORE rich as the ambient air and/or intake bits got hot.
- not good for a tuning neophyte like myself.
- inconsistent - sometimes requiring a "reboot" (shutting the car off/then turning back on)

<strike>Gotham</strike> Supercharger Tune:
Pro:
- Feels (and looks, FWIW) like OEM
- Adaptive & consistent, with rock-solid A/F Ratios
- Lower cam switchover.
Con:
- Being off the shelf meant I had to go back to a larger, 6lb pulley (read on for more on this - it's not such a bad thing)
- Not tuned for aquamist - This is really a non-issue & has been discussed ad nauseum. Suffice it to say, it's still damn fast & that little bit of water warms my heart by making me feel like detonation is that much further away.

<hr>
Couple clarifications if you've read any of my previous posts:
1. I don't believe Vishnu tuned my Xede - I saw the Vishnu sticker on it, so I thought that Vishnu tuned it. Upon closer inspection, the sticker says "Distributed by Vishnu" not "Tuned by Vishnu" as I had previously thought. I'm pretty sure Tripoint did the tune.

2. My car was one of the first to have a supercharged added. This was pre-Sector111's SC. My car was also one of the first to have the smaller, 10lb pulley. Because of these two things, the car was, understandably, tuned to err on the side of safety, i.e. tuned to stay nice and rich. Many of my problems were due to this fact. The point of me mentioning this is to avoid implying that Tripoint has no idea what they are doing. They actually seem quite competent & I've liked dealing with them when I've needed to.

<hr>
And now... the rest of the story...

I bought my car used. The previous owner had Tripoint fit what would essentially become the Sector111 Katana kit (Sector has a few, nicer custom bits that may make theirs "better," but for the most part, it's the same). The previous owner had also upped the boost by having a smaller pulley installed.

For quite a while, I've been posting questions on the forum about some problems I was having in the low rev range. Most notable was the fact that it would bury the AF gauge at 10 (the richest it registers) at which time my car would put along for about 2-3 seconds at the same engine speed, then it would burst to life & off I went like a bat out of hell (often having pushed the go pedal down a good 75% while trying to get moving). Quite an
unnerving experience when pulling into traffic. It also had a similar problem when it was very cold - pulling out of the driveway first thing in the morning would require 10-15% throttle for about a full second before the revs would climb far enough to get underway.

I was also experiencing *severe* heat soak to the point that, when the car was very warm (like after having sat in traffic for a while), it almost felt NA. Lots of noise, not so much go fast. However, when it wasn't heat-soaked (especially when the ambient temps were low), it worked quite well... that is, it worked quite well once the motor got above about 3K rpm.

Under 3K rpm was pretty much always bad. It was very difficult to heel-tow. I eventually got used to it by holding the revs at about 3500 rpm prior to the stab to match engine/transmission speed. This was a real pain being that when the rpms dropped below about 3K rpm, it would take a bit to get back up to 3K - maybe 1/2 second - then it would scream all the way to redline in about the same amount of time. Pedal finesse certainly helped, but it wasn't enjoyable.

Lastly, simple things like backing into my driveway up two slight inclines was a chore... I couldn't engage the clutch at less than about 2500 rpm or I wouldn't make it up the slope. I have a *small* one car garage that requires some pretty precise aiming, which meant I couldn't build up speed & roll all the way up, I had to inch up which meant holding the revs at 2500-3000 rpm while bouncing off the clutch and break. Heel-toe to get into the garage & lots of burny-clutch smell to go along with it - what a revoltin' developement :rolleyes:

The last straw came about a month ago when on my way to a British car show. After a slightly hard start, a mile or so down the road, the car just shut off. I fired it back up, drove for a couple more seconds then off again. I was able to keep it running by massaging the gas pedal for long enough to limp into a parking lot (all the while making some horrendous noises), AF ratios burined at 10 the whole time. Luckily, after a reboot, I was able to drive back home & there it stayed until I got my ECU back from Charlie.


Enter CharlieX.

A quick note - I had a fuse wiggle loose (never had that happen before) which caused the car to not start (just cranked) once the new ECU was back in. Charlie asked that I call so that he and I could go over potential problems. That invite to call came about 20 minutes after I sent an email asking what might be the matter. I know it's not much, but it made me feel like he actually cares what happens.

How does the new tune feel? Well...

The instant I engaged the clutch, I could tell a difference. Charlie's tune doesn't care if it's hot or cold out, doesn't care if the car just started or has been running for days - it's completely consistent & delivers the correct amount of fuel for the job. Getting underway is now like it is in any other car in the world - effortless.

Throttle response is RIGHT NOW, unlike the XEDE which was asleep for the first second or two then would wake up.

Heat soak - this is an interesting issue as I would have thought it completely unrelated to the tune. Maybe it's because of the adaptive nature of the new tune or maybe it's because the new tune is a bit more lean than the old across the board, but heat soak has been reduced by - I'd say - 75%. This isn't to say that there's no heat-soak now, but it is to say it was HORRIBLE before. This is also not to say that it's running cooler now, but it is to say that whatever the ECU is doing seems to manage the heat better. Note I'm also using a larger (lower boost) pulley - maybe this has something to do with it?

Gas milage - have only run one tank through so far. I did get better mileage than my previous average (this one was about 24 mpg city driving) - up 2 or 3 from before, but there's not enough data yet to conclude I get better mileage.

Power - Tons better delivery in the low end. The adaptive cam switchover is really, really nice - one wonders why it wasn't this way from the factory. Even though I'm running about 4lbs less boost than before, I don't notice it at all until about 6500 rpm. Even then, it's just this side of noticeable. That said, because of the fantastic low end delivery, I *rarely* bring it above 6500 unless I'm giving a demo to a friend - there's just no need around town. Actually, I'm quite satisfied keeping it below 4500 rpm in most cases & I still outrun every other car off the line without trying.

Conclusion:

The best $600 I've spent on the car, bar none. It's really a joy to drive. I no longer dread stop lights on steep inclines (very difficult with 2-3 seconds of forced constant ~1500 rpm on the previous tune after heat soak). No longer worry about stalling randomly while driving down the road. No longer wonder if it will need a reboot after getting started. The car is as fast (maybe faster - real-world - due to the better low-end) and fun as ever. Still sounds great, still drives great, and now it runs great too. I almost feel like the car is egging me on to go faster :D. If you go with an SC, I *highly* recommend Charlie's tune.
 

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Hey Brian, you're right, Charlie puts out a mean tune, especially adpative cam :cool: But, I have to say I never had a single issue with my Xede, not one. Car ran great and idled like stock. My blower came next after yours if I remember right. Something tells me you had a defective box, bad map, or wiring issue. Regardless, glad to hear you're back in black and happy :up:
 

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A proper tune can really do wonders....great to hear everything went well!!!
Be good,
TomK
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey Brian, you're right, Charlie puts out a mean tune, especially adpative cam :cool: But, I have to say I never had a single issue with my Xede, not one. Car ran great and idled like stock. My blower came next after yours if I remember right. Something tells me you had a defective box, bad map, or wiring issue. Regardless, glad to hear you're back in black and happy :up:
It's certainly possible that something may have been wrong with my Xede (or at least with my tune). Compounding my frustration was reading all the posts from you about how well yours was running. :D
 

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It's certainly possible that something may have been wrong with my Xede (or at least with my tune). Compounding my frustration was reading all the posts from you about how well yours was running. :D
I've switched to EFI and my Xede is sitting on the shelf with a 3.2" tune loaded in it...you're welcome to borrow anytime if you're compelled to satisfy your curiosity. For now it makes a great paperweight. :p
 

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Couple clarifications if you've read any of my previous posts:
1. I don't believe Vishnu tuned my Xede - I saw the Vishnu sticker on it, so I thought that Vishnu tuned it. Upon closer inspection, the sticker says "Distributed by Vishnu" not "Tuned by Vishnu" as I had previously thought. I'm pretty sure Tripoint did the tune.
Vishnu did supposedly tune it. I drove all the way to north Georgia because of their VP (my vague memory of his title) doing XEDE tunes at a shop there one weekend. The guy that did the tune is at far left.

I'm very glad that things now seem sorted for you. I hope the car is even half as satisfying to you as it was to me.:wave:
 

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Excellent review. I am having the same problems with my car in that it's running less-than-perfectly and I don't like it. It's not quite as annoying as yours was, but still annoying. Doesn't make you feel good when driving it at all :(


BTW, I thought the thread title was referring to the Gotham 265 tune until you said "$600" and saw you have an Elise. Maybe you could clarify for other users.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Vishnu did supposedly tune it. I drove all the way to north Georgia because of their VP (my vague memory of his title) doing XEDE tunes at a shop there one weekend. The guy that did the tune is at far left.

I'm very glad that things now seem sorted for you. I hope the car is even half as satisfying to you as it was to me.:wave:
HI MARK!! :wave:

I thought I remembered you saying it was tuned by Vishnu, but couldn't quite remember & haven't found any info on Vishnu tuning Elises, so I thought I fabricated that memory. Very interesting.

Oddly, I almost emailed you after I put the new ECU in to let you know how well she was feeling these days, but didn't want to rub in the fact that she lives in Los Angeles now. For the record, it's been fantastic & is now running better than before - with nearly 20K on the clock (largely because of a road trip to Colorado & back).

As is probably obvious, Reggie (sp?) @ Tripoint remembers the car well & commented on how odd it was to see it back at the shop after having gone out to GA for the install. (I brought it back to Tripoint to have the Xede removed & pulley swapped out).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Excellent review. I am having the same problems with my car in that it's running less-than-perfectly and I don't like it. It's not quite as annoying as yours was, but still annoying. Doesn't make you feel good when driving it at all :(


BTW, I thought the thread title was referring to the Gotham 265 tune until you said "$600" and saw you have an Elise. Maybe you could clarify for other users.
Good point. Edited.
 

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I'm confused - you got the gotham tune on your tripoint elise? i thought the gotham was for the exige s?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm confused - you got the gotham tune on your tripoint elise? i thought the gotham was for the exige s?
hrmmm.. Charlie's site is goth.am. For some reason, I thought all his tunes were called "Gotham". To be correct, I got the tune called "Supercharger Tune for 2005 cars Federal".
 
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